Calf rearing technology

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Each technology of growing calves has its own strengths and weaknesses. Her choice depends on the capabilities of the farmer and the goals for which he grows young. This may be a bull for meat, a dairy cow or a repair animal. Depending on the purpose of the cattle, the most suitable method of its cultivation is chosen. This is done for a reason. The period of development, intensive growth - the most important. Productivity and value for reproduction directly depend on the well-being of animals at a young age.

Cooking room for young animals, growing methods

It doesn't matter if you are going to raise dairy cows for production or animals for herd repair, you need to prepare for this.

Adult cattle and calves cannot be held together. Even if you have one cow, it must be separated from the calf by a partition. If there are several animals in the farm, the young need a separate room. It is best to build a bright, spacious calf house. There should be clean and plenty of fresh air, but without drafts. For babies up to four months it is necessary to provide a temperature of + 14 + 22 degrees, from four months + 8 + 12 degrees. The litter is made from straw, peat or sawdust. The upper layer is changed daily, the lower layer - at least once every three weeks, preferably more often. Of course, you need a feeder, drinking bowl and hygiene products.

There are three methods of growing young cattle:

  • group;
  • individual;
  • non-detachable.

Selecting the method of growing calves, respectively, equip the premises. So, the calf can be divided into sections for individual content. Or for such a method of building separate houses.

Choosing the best animals for the farm

Calves are not always born in their herd, sometimes they have to buy. And here it is very important to make the right choice.

A significant role is played by the age of the calf. The most profitable is 1-2 months, since the baby no longer needs to be manually drank, he is ready to switch to normal feed, and in three months he can graze. You can purchase an animal younger. Even five-day calves are sold at private farmsteads, but they will have to be fed with milk until it grows up. Not every owner is willing to spend time on it. Very small bulls and calves have only one advantage - they are relatively inexpensive. Grown up young animals are much more expensive.

You also need to look at the exterior. If you buy a representative of the dairy breed, it should have a lean constitution, an elongated body with long legs, a tail length to the hock, a thin bone. A meat calf has short legs and a more “knocked down” body with a heavy head. The tail is short, not reaching the hock.

In addition, the baby should have a wet nose, smooth, healthy hair. If the calf eats, frolics, shows curiosity with you, all is well. If he is not very active, even with all the other positive signs it is better not to take it.

Briefly about the main methods of content

To grow young stock, you can use group content. This is a classic method in which newborns are placed in cages for two weeks, and then distributed into groups (5-10 calves). They are kept in a room divided into sections, from two months they take a walk to the grounds where they can eat and drink freely. Manure is cleaned by staff. The disadvantage of the method is that calves younger than two months, as a rule, are spent almost all the time indoors. This adversely affects their immunity and health. In addition, a lot of physical work is required from farm personnel.

Individual housing in the houses on the street is a new method for Russian animal husbandry. While it is not too widespread for several reasons. First, it is quite expensive. Secondly, houses are usually made of plastic, and it does not stand the test of severe frosts, and calves catch cold. Solve the problem, equipping canopies and blocking houses with film in the winter. They are also made of wood. Advantages of the method: veterinary control and prevention of infections is facilitated; "youth" is growing in the fresh air, which means it has good immunity. In addition, it is easy to care for her.

Indoor cultivation (or on suction) suggests that the baby does not leave the herd. Usually, this is the cultivation of calves at home. They spend at least two weeks with their mother at a private household until they get stronger. Until six months they are left with a cow, usually in beef cattle and when there is pasture. This reduces the cost of food and staff, and calves grow healthy.

Technology keeping young

There are two technologies of maintenance: the traditional method and the cold.

The cold method is suitable for growing calves from any direction. Its essence is that a day after birth they are transferred to separate houses located on the street. There is no insulation, only the bedding.

Calves growing in such conditions, more hardened and healthy, they get vitamin D, thanks to the sun. As a result - their body works better and more than the average daily weight gain. There are two minuses. The first is the cost of building houses, the second is the need to feed the kids hard with milk in bitter cold. During this period, it can go more by 25%.

In the traditional way, they used to grow almost all the kids on collective farms, but now they consider it obsolete. Young animals are kept indoors with the cows while they are being fed, and then calves are taken for rearing. Although the technology allows to avoid additional expenses, it does not protect young animals from infections in the herd and fallow. In addition, calves and calves do not get enough sunlight and vitamin D, which is bad for the development of the body.

Nutrition after birth and in the milk period

Now let's talk directly about the diet of calves of different ages when raising livestock. The first 10 days - the stage of the newborn. About an hour after calving, the baby must receive colostrum in the amount of 0.7-1 l, large individuals - up to 2 l. No longer needed, otherwise the calf will have problems with digestion.

Gradually, the amount of drunk colostrum should reach 1/5 of the weight of a newborn per day for 3-4 doses. You can feed by hand or feed a calf to a cow. The colostrum is given for 5 days, then transferred to milk and they start to give warm boiled water, one liter.

It is especially important to fully feed with colostrum and milk for young stock, it is not possible to save on this.

It is necessary to ensure that the milk temperature in the first month of life of babies is 35-37 degrees, in the second month - 30-35 and in the third - 29-30 degrees. Dairy feeds should ideally have a temperature of 37-38 degrees. The colder ones swelled worse in the calf's abomasum.

Growing calves in the dairy period allows the use of substitutes and skim milk, but there is nothing better than whole milk.

Adding other feed to the calf's diet

Growing young stock, dairy heifers or cattle for meat, you need to move to the "adult" feed gradually. From two months, concentrates and hay are introduced into the menu, starting from 100 g per day, bringing to 500 g. No longer needed, otherwise excess fat will be deposited, which will further hinder the productivity of dairy animals. At first, concentrates are best given by chatterboxes. They can be significantly reduced or removed completely, if the calf can and wants to graze. Silo, root vegetables, too, give a little bit. Offer chalk, salt-lizunets, bone meal.

In beef cattle calves do not feed more than 16-18 months, their diet depends on the time of year. In winter they produce hay, concentrates and root vegetables. In the summer, the latter are removed, and the concentrates are reduced.

At the same time, up to 7-8 months, animals that are fattened for meat remain on the suction. During the pasture period, cows that give milk to youngsters are kept on a pasture along with calves.

Feeding up repair animals

Growing young stock is similar to growing dairy calves, because usually chicks are raised for repair, which then bring in milk. With one caveat: take young, not having defects neither by external standards, nor by health. Although, with a view to the need to decide before the birth of the calf, then to go its directional cultivation.

From six months before the first pregnancy, the hen is taught to eat bulky food in the quantity necessary for high productivity in the future. In the menu there are grain feeds and high fiber content.

Up to 9 months, half of the dry matter eaten should fall on hay, the other half is provided by haylage, silage, and pasture feed. At the end of the warm season, repair heifers must be given concentrates and additional portions of hay so that they gain mass.

The use of premixes from the second month of life gives good results. They increase the growth rate of young animals by 10-15%.

Make sure that the animal is not fat, because this is a guarantee of high productivity of the cow.

A special approach to heifers is a guarantee of a healthy flock.

Heifers and heifers, designed for repair, it is better to keep without a leash on a deep bedding.

Venture platforms will be equipped with special feeders for heifers and heifers so that they can safely come and eat. At the same time, haylage and silage form the basis of the menu, and concentrates and roughage are given in moderate quantities.

In summer, naturally, heifers and heifers are brought to pastures, where fresh grass will fill their diet. In addition, grazing is extremely important for the health of females. She will strengthen them physically, will provide strong immunity and will not allow to gain excess fat.

Bulky feed for heifers should provide up to 75% of the total nutritional value, the rest - concentrates.

Recall that first heifers, deeply pregnant, dry cows and heifers should be divided into separate groups for both maintenance and grazing.

Cultivation of bulls also has its own nuances. Read more about this in the article "On the breeding bulls."

How to calculate the average annual livestock in the farm

Growing young cattle is usually aimed at repairing the herd. But such processes are not done blindly. You need to know the needs of the herd and predict the result. Therefore, it is useful to calculate the average annual number of cows and the structure of your herd.

We give two formulas. First: N cf. = X1 + X2 / 2. Here X1 and X2 are the number of animals at the beginning and at the end of the year.

The second formula: H cf. = (Hn + Hk): 2 + Hf + Hm + ... Hd / H - 1. Here, for the calculation, take the data by month. HN and Hd - the number of cattle at the beginning of the year and at the end. Then comes the quantity in each month of the year (Hf - February, Hm - March, and so on until December).

Using these formulas it is possible to predict the average annual population. Now you know all about calves and methods of their rearing.

Share a link to our article so that your friends and colleagues also learn more.

Tell us about your experience in rearing calves in the comments.

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